Brazilians Elect Their National President: October 5, 2014

Brazilians vote today.

Brazilians vote today.

Today Brazilians gather to elect their political representatives. All around Brazil and wherever in the world Brazilians reside, they come to their voting places or consulates to cast their votes. It is a sacred ritual. Because of its importance, I thought I would consider the political process from the Back-to-the-Body Perspective.

Elections Are a Purification Ritual

When a person throws his/her hat in the ring and becomes a candidate for an election, they face a purification ritual. All the facts come out; all the cards are laid on the table. People take sides, become involved. The smiles return, the promises, the pledges. It is like a carnival, a day of optimism and hope. It is a kind of rebirth.

I remember when I was a kid, seeing my mother becoming involved in political campaigns for the mayor of my hometown. It was a beautiful thing to see her transformed. She would vibrate with enthusiasm and would spare no effort for her candidate. And her chosen candidate would usually win. It is in this spirit of enthusiasm and hope that I offer a few considerations about the political process, from the standpoint of the Back-to-the-Body Perspective.

National Elections and the Back-to-the-Body Perspective

National politics is the art of separation: people choose one candidate and forsake the others. The Back-to-the-Body Perspective is the art of unification: we see unity in the diversity of the nation. From this perspective, we see the nation as comprising three aspects: the stomach, the brain, and the heart. In other words, a nation has the people (stomach, the productive forces), the government (the brain of the nation), and the culture (the heart of the nation).

As the brain the nation, the government is divided in two political directions. This is similar to the division of the brain into left hemisphere and right hemisphere. Each one has specific characteristics and weak and strong points.

The “Left” in Politics

Marx and Engels, Berlin

Marx and Engels, Berlin

The “Left” represents the left hemisphere in the government, which is the brain of the nation. This is the logical force, the controlling force. In the Book of Genesis, the “Left” is represented by the figure of “Cain” in the family of Adam and Eve.

The “Left” makes a connection of the stomach (the people, the workers). In the Brazilian political spectrum, the Left is represented by the Workers Party (PT). In the US political spectrum, the Left is represented by the Democratic Party.

The Left promises to take care of the people. They are sympathetic to the people’s plight. Their main motivation is resentment: they talk constantly about the exploitation of the people. Karl Marx, for instance, embodying the left-leaning political tendency, declared in his Manifesto: “Workers of the World, Unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains!” Another example is Mao Tse-tung in China: he appealed to the farming peasants (the stomach) in order to create the Chinese Communist Party.

Heart in Prison

Heart in Prison

The heart of the nation comprises the teachers, the intellectuals, the free press, and the well-educated, the religious people, and even the banks (which moves money, the blood of the nation). The Left does not have a good relationship with the “heart” of the nation, that is, the culture of the nation. In a left-leaning regime, the heart feels like it is in prison.

This is a weak point for the Left, because, without culture (that is, the heart), the soul of the nation starves and dies. As the Scriptures say, “People don’t live by bread alone” (Matt 4:4).

Another weak point for the Left is the utilization of resentment for motivation. Resentment is a powerful motivation. A resentful population will rise up in power, will break chains, wil change things. Thus, resentment is a good tool for the revolution.

The problem with resentment, however, comes AFTER the revolution wins power. Once the Left gains power, the tone must change from resentment to enthusiasm, hope, and gratitude. These positive feelings of enthusiasm, hope, and gratitude are what gets people excited about building a successful and prosperous economy. But resentment is like a pact with the devil: once installed, resentment is very hard to get rid of. Thus, it is difficult for left-leaning governments to build a successful economy.

Another weak point of the Left is that it does not allow the heart of the nation to prosper. The Left distrusts the heart, namely, the culture of the nation. Thus, under a left-leaning government there is very strict control of the party line. Deviations from the party line are swiftly punished. Accordingly, there is not a lot of freedom in left-leaning regimes.

But without freedom, it is very difficult to build an economy. In another article I wrote about Russians and about why Russia seems to fail again and again. Any government that restrains the free flow of people’s “heart” (the culture, the free press) will have difficulty building a prosperous economy. A prosperous economy comes from creativity; and creativity is motivated by a vibrating heart. If the heart is sickly and does not feel free, then it will have difficulty in moving to create. Without creativity, there is no progress in the economy. Hence, Left-leaning governments suffer for a poor economy.

Marriage of Right and Left in Brazil

Marriage of Right and Left in Brazil

I should mention, though, that Communism in Brazil has reached a kind of “marriage” with democracy, though the marriage is somewhat dysfunctional. You might say that Brazilian communists have learned how to speak “Democratese,” if you will. Nowhere in the old-time Communist world would we see the kind of disrespect that the current Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, has received from the people and from the press. When she appeared at the World Cup games in Brazil, she would often be booed. If the “Dear Leader” were to receive a treatment like that in the old-style Communist regimes, the voices of dissent would swiftly be suppressed. So, in Brazil the Left and the Right are coming to a kind of interaction, which may become a model for countries like Cuba, Venezuela, and Ecuador.

I will mention one more point about the Left: the paramount value of the Left is the value of TRUTH. The strongest accusation of the Left against the Right is that the Right lies. Moses, in Genesis, wrote about this point when he used the figure of the serpent breaking Eve’s faith in God by insinuating that God had lied to her. When Eve explained that God had told her and her husband that, if they ate fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they would die, the serpent responded with two things: first, God was lying; and second, he lied in order to prevent Eve and Adam from acquiring a divine status. In other words, he was lying in order to oppress them, to keep them in a state of ignorance (Gen. 3: 2-3).

Analyze any Communist writing and you will see these two accusations surfacing again and again: capitalists lie to the people and oppress the people. These two accusations are the hammer and sickle that break the faith.

amplify_truthSo, TRUTH is one of the supreme values of the Left. Therefore, when the Left suppresses the press and the culture of the nation, they do so for the reason of SUPPRESSING LIES. Thus, they defend their suppression by saying that they are preventing the spread of lies. Every time a Left-leaning government decrees the closing of a certain newspaper or television station, you can bet it will be for the reason of stopping the spread of lies.

The problem with this tactic of the Left is that there is a small gap between “suppressing lies” an “suppressing UNWANTED truths.” But a government that does not want to hear certain truths is a government that is becoming isolated and filled with illusions. A government like that may become disconnected from reality and sooner or later may face a revolution. This is a weak point for the left.

So far, I have been talking about the Left, which is Cain, the left side of the brain. But don’t think that the Right is blameless and perfect. Remember, perfection comes from the unity of the two sides rather than from one side alone. So, the Right has its good and bad points also.

The “Right” in Politics

The Back-to-the-Body Perspective is about unity rather than breaking apart. What needs to unite is the diversity of parties, namely, the Left and the Right. The Right is represented in the Bible by the figure of Abel in the family of Adam.

Love is from the Heart

Love is from the Heart

In the Bible, it is said that God favored Abel rather than Cain. That is only natural if you consider three things: first, God is love (1 John 4:8); next, the motivation of Cain (that is, the Left, Communism) is resentment; and finally, resentment is the antithesis to love, you might say.

Does that mean that the Right is motivated by love? Well, let’s just say that the Right is closer to love. That is so because the Right connects with the Heart (the culture of the nation). The right hemisphere of the brain tends to be creative, artistic, sensitive to culture, sensitive to feelings–in other words, sensitive to the heart. The vibration of the heart is love; therefore, the Right is closer to love.

Just like truth is the paramount value for the Left, the Right, also, has is paramount value, which is FREEDOM. The value of freedom is what nourishes the right side of the brain and also the heart. Freedom is spirit; so, the Right values the spirit of the nation, the heart of the nation. For this reason also, the Right tends to be more religious than the Left.

Arrogance

red_vs_blueThe weak point for the Right is ARROGANCE. It is the sense of feeling superior, more cultured, a more noble spirit, etc. Basically, the Right tends to despise the Left as uncouth, uncultured, ill-bred, badly informed. That is because the Right feels that it has a superior kind of knowledge, which is the wisdom of the heart, of the spirit. This arrogance on the part of the Right tends to increase the Resentment on the part of the Left. Thus, the conflict continues. Could Left and Right united to create the perfect brain, the perfect government?

Perfect Brain: Unity of Right and Left

USO offers glimpse into DMZ

Unity of Right and Left

Nietzsche does not quite put it this way, but one way to understand his Übermensch is to think in terms of unity. First, unity in the brain, that is, between the right side and the left side; next, unity between the stomach and the heart. The Right side of the brain connects with the heart; the Left side of the brain connects with the stomach. When these two sides come together, we have the complete unity.

This is the magic unity of spirit and truth–or mind and body, in traditional terminology. Nietzsche’s Übermensch, or the Messiah in Judeo-Christianity, or the Mahdi awaited by the Muslims. This Übermensch or Messiah or Mahdi has completed the unity of heart and stomach, of truth and spirit, of mind and body, of Right and Left. An unprecedented era of prosperity and peace starts on earth.

Unity of Right and Left in Brazil

I started out by speaking about Brazil and ended up with the Übermensch and the Messiah. So, let me return to Brazil, which selects a national president today. No matter who is elected, one thing certain: there will be changes.

The most important change, in my view, is better cooperation between the Left and the Right. The Left must give more freedom to the heart (the free press, the banking system, the creative enterprise); and the Right must become less arrogant and more caring for the plight of the poor. The Left should put away the books by Karl Marx and Paulo Freire–and instead, should read Thomas Jefferson. The Right should put away the books by Adam Smith–and instead, should listen to the sermons by Pope Francis. The right should become humble, and should genuinely care for the poor and for minorities.

These changes are painful, but the rewards are great. The most important rewards will be a peaceful society and a prosperous nation. Viva o Brasil!

I conclude with a quote:

Must not the noblest longing be the freest? My heart took me at my word; I gave it freedom, and you see it needs it.
Excerpt From: Friedrich Hölderlin. Hyperion. iBooks.

Paulo-Juarez Pereira
Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
October 5, 2014

PHOTO CREDITS:

Photo: Brazilian men; by Willy Verhulst; source: http://bit.ly/1xS1TRU; Creative Commons license: Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Photo: Praia_de_Copacabana; by Rodrigo Soldon; source: http://bit.ly/1sWiliT; Creative Commons license: Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Photo: Unity; by Jason Eppink
; source: http://bit.ly/1rOnllI; Creative Commons license: Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Photo: Marx_Engels_Berlin; by Jorge Láscar; source: http://bit.ly/Z4xjoI; Creative Commons license: Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Photo: Jail Windos; by Marsanne Petty; source: http://bit.ly/1sWl1gl; Creative Commons license: Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Photo:Man Carrying Knife; by Internet Archive Book Images; source: http://bit.ly/1sWlsHl; Copyright: No known copyright restrictions.

Photo: Dysfunctional marriage; by theresaunfried; source: http://bit.ly/1xS94tc; Creative Commons license: Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Photo: Red vs Blue; by Robert Couse-Baker; source: http://bit.ly/1naZ3n6; Creative Commons license: Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Photo: Uniting Right and Left; by UNC – CFC – USFK; source: http://bit.ly/1tpRSo0; Creative Commons license: Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Photo: Amplify Truth; by Paul Downey; source: http://bit.ly/10BcJ0I; Creative Commons license: Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Photo: Swans in Love; by mozzercork; source: http://bit.ly/1xdoLIi; Creative Commons license: Attribution 2.0 Generic.

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